A Basic Guide to Hand Physiotherapy

Hand physiotherapy is a highly effective treatment for injuries, pain, and surgery recovery. Common hand injuries are often the result of trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. Strain injuries, such as those caused by repetitive computer use and manual labour, can cause additional hand injuries and persistent discomfort.

The physiotherapist will use manual therapy to increase the range of motion of the joints and blood supply to the tissues of the hand as part of the treatment for hand injuries. In addition to strengthening muscles and stretching tense tissues, hand injuries will be treated with physiotherapy. All of this is intended to assist you in returning to meaningful and functional daily activities.

What is the function of a hand physiotherapist?

A hand physiotherapist will comprehensively evaluate the hand, wrist, elbow, neck, and shoulder. They conduct a comprehensive examination of the complete limbs, neck, and upper back to ensure they can identify and treat all contributing factors to the hand discomfort.

This is especially essential when the hand pain has an insidious onset, meaning there was no obvious injury mechanism preceding the onset of hand pain. The physiotherapist will then administer specialised treatment techniques, such as joint mobilisations, strengthening exercises, flexibility exercises, soft tissue release, and possibly acupuncture and cupping.

When should I begin physical therapy after an injury?

Following a hand injury, the sooner physiotherapy treatment is initiated, the better. Your physiotherapist can perform treatment techniques that reduce pain and inflammation and instruct you on how to facilitate your recovery and pain reduction at home.

For instance, your physiotherapist can perform mild manual therapy to mobilise inflammation around the joints and teach you home treatment techniques.

How can you determine whether a hand injury is serious?

Consider the possibility of a severe injury if you have experienced a traumatic event that led to your hand pain. Suppose you experience severe swelling, severe pain, and the inability to grasp, form a fist, or sustain weight on your hand. In that case, this may indicate a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention.

A comprehensive evaluation followed by medical imaging (X-ray) would be required to confirm the diagnosis of a more severe hand injury.

How long does it take for a hand injury to heal?

The duration of recovery for each injury varies. This depends on the patient’s overall health, including age, comorbidities, and injury history. Additionally, it depends on the extent of the injury. It may take a few weeks to recover from a wrist sprain or strain and return to functional, meaningful activities with the assistance of a physiotherapist. On the other hand, accident-related fractures may necessitate surgery and can take three to six months or more to heal.

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